Star Blazers: A Time of Serenity
By: Jamie A. Tucker
Chapter 11: The Relaxed Recon Mission
Please note that Space Battleship Yamato and Star Blazers are registered trademarks of Voyager Entertainment, Inc. Star Blazers/ Space Battleship Yamato is copyright 2008 by Voyager Entertainment, Lejji Matsumoto and Yoshinobu Nishizaki. Star Blazers: A Time of Serenity is copyright 2010 by Jamie A. Tucker and is a fan-fiction as a personal hobby that is not intended to infringe upon the copyright holders of Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato. The Character of Paul Rosstowski is copyright 2010 by Fredrick P. Kopetz and is used with permission. The characters of Carrie Braun, Jake Tucker, Gamilon General Kilt, General Radlock, Col. Faust, Commander Luthar and Dr. Nelson Gramme are original characters developed by Jamie A. Tucker and are copyright 2010.
Time: March 2200
On the bridge of the Argo, the bridge crew arrived for the first watch of the day. The morning’s boxer shorts run provided the much needed comical entertainment for all who witnessed Sakamoto and IQ-9 run the decks in underwear. Nova stepped off the elevator and walked to her post at the cosmo radar. She was still a bit upset from being rather sexually harassed by IQ-9. No other officers on the bridge dared to mention what Nova had been through.
“That damned scientist, Shukandikar! He should’ve had his professional credentials yanked for creating that tin-wit!” thought Nova as she held her head in her hands.
The bridge elevator door opened and Wildstar walked over towards Nova.
“Nova, are you ok?” asked Derek with a slight smile as he placed his right hand on her left shoulder.
“Derek, thank you for asking the question but something has got to be done about IQ-9’s rather strange behavior,” Nova said as she looked into Derek’s eyes. “I mean…it’s obscene!”
“Nova, I couldn’t help but hear your comment about IQ-9. I understand totally about how angry you are at IQ. Still, it’s my professional opinion that the tin-wit is an integral part of this crew. I don’t think we could’ve accomplished some of the things we’ve did on this voyage without him,” said Sandor as he looked at both Derek and Nova.
“What do you recommend, Sandor? You’ve seen him hiccup, raise Nova’s skirt numerous times and there’s also times when you had to put him back together,” said Derek with concern.
“Well, one thing for sure IQ-9 has helped us get through some times such as disabling those mines and neutralizing the electrical force field on Pluto when we took out the Gamilon reflex gun,” added Venture.
“Nova, it’s up to you. You can file a complaint with Captain Avatar. As Deputy Captain, I can’t order IQ-9 to spend time in the brig. However, I can assign the robot extra duty after we complete this recon mission,” said Derek as he assured Nova that something could be done to correct IQ-9’s weird problem.
“Derek, I’ll let it go this time. We have a full day ahead of us and I’m hoping maybe we can get some liberty time later,” said Nova as she flipped the switch that activated the cosmo-radar.
“Orion, is IQ-9 finished assisting you with repairs in the engine room?” inquired Wildstar as he stood at the engineering console.
“IQ-9 is relieved of engine room duty. The only thing we have left to repair is the number three energy condenser. I don’t think we’ll need him anymore for a while,” said Orion as he scratched his bald head.
Derek walked over to his post at the combat station and grabbed the microphone.
“Attention all hands, this is Deputy Captain Wildstar. We are now code Alpha. All non-essential personnel not participating in reconnaissance activities may stand down for the remainder of first watch. However, remain alert should we encounter any trouble. IQ-9 and Conroy report to third bridge to begin preparations for drone missions,” announced Wildstar as he returned the microphone to its stored position.
“Venture, you have the bridge. Sandor, Nova, Jake and Paul come with me to the hangar. We’re going to prepare the first balloon ship for the first portion of the scouting mission. Something tells me that we may find some hidden things here.”
“Sir, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Gamilons had a toy chest somewhere on this planet,” said Jake as the foursome made their way to the hangar.
“I agree. It seems like everywhere we turned the Gamilons left a whole lot of evidence that they have been to certain places in the universe,” said Paul Rosstowski who along with Jake was a gun turret captain.
The elevator arrived at the hanger and the four were greeted with salutes by two members of the Black Tiger support group.
“Wildstar, I’ve have prepared the necessary equipment for us to inflate the balloon ship. It should take no more than three minutes to inflate,” said Yeoman 2nd Class Tim Hesterly, who also served with Captain Avatar on the battleship 225 at the Battle of Pluto and the Battle of Mars in 2197.
“Very well, Hesterly. I understand that you served with my brother Alex at Space Fighters’ Training School and with Captain Avatar aboard the 225,” responded Wildstar.
“Sure did, sir. Your brother was one of the best pilots in my class before he went on to moving up the ranks. I have a gut feeling you’re going to see your brother again, Wildstar. No offense, but something tells me he survived that crash on Titan and put up a good fight against the Gamilons,” said Hesterly.
“No offense taken and yes I want to believe every word you just spoken about my brother being alive. But I’ve never said this out loud, but ever since I spoke with Captain Avatar after returned from Mars, I can’t help but wonder if he did stay behind of his own free will to fight the delaying action that allowed him to return to Earth? Somehow, I just can’t shake that feeling knowing that the Captain’s right,” replied Wildstar as he shook his head.
The balloon ship inflated to full pressure. This inflatable model of the Argo was eight feet longer and two feet taller than the balloon ship that was released during the space mines ordeal several months ago.
“Wow, this balloon ship is bigger than the last one we released,” said Jake with a look of impression.
“It is indeed. This is no ordinary balloon ship. I had configured the dynamic do-all to produce a stronger inflatable material to make it withstand some damage should it encounter an attack. Also, aside from the reconnaissance cameras and relay antennas, this thing can pack some firepower in its miniature pulse laser cannons,” said Sandor as the group walked around the mammoth model.
“I’m greatly impressed indeed. This thing reminds me of the huge model of the Yamato that was featured in the Yamato Museum before the planet bombings started on Earth, “said Paul with a grin.
“My brother Alex and I visited the museum when we were kids. I’ve heard the numerous stories from my dad about my ancestors who served in the actual battleship. I’m still amazed to this day that my great-great-great-great-great grandfather survived the sinking of the Yamato off the island of Kyushu on that one way suicide mission. Had she survived the war, I’m sure the country of the United States at the time would’ve taken her as a war trophy but yet gave her back to Japan as a museum ship as a memorial to all the soldiers who fought in that great war, “ said Wildstar as he looked up to the ceiling of the hangar bay.
The group began to walk away from the ship to endure safe distance for launch. The flight support personnel moved the balloon ship to the elevator to lift it to the catapult on the fantail. The technicians were in awe of the size of the ship and performed the final checkouts before proceeding to send it to the deck.
“Wildstar, we’re all set and everything is nominal,” said one of the technicians with a salute.
“Very well,” said Derek as he reached for the intercom phone.
On the bridge, Venture checked the communications links to the balloon ship since he was to pilot the balloon ship on this mission. He went through the checklist to ensure that the flight control system and weapons controls worked normally.
“Venture, phone call from the hangar sir!” said Homer as he handed it off to Venture.
“This is the bridge, Venture speaking.”
“Venture, how does it look at the controls?” asked Wildstar from the hangar.
“Everything looks good. We’re ready to proceed,” replied the ship’s helmsman.
“Good…I’ll be back up to the bridge with Sandor in a couple of minutes and we’ll get this ball rolling,” Wildstar said.
Wildstar gave Hesterly the signal to send the balloon ship up to the catapult. The massive toddler version of the Argo went up the elevator as Wildstar and Sandor made their way back to the bridge. Jake walked to his cosmo tiger to prepare for temporary duty as the alert-five pilot. His duty was to take off immediately should there be any encounters from the Gamilon pilots.
“Jake, your cosmo tiger is checked out and ready to go,” said Hesterly.
“It’s about darn time I got some good quality flight time in. Should the Gamilons decide to show themselves, I’ll be happy to give them a scene from that favorite movie from the 20th century,” said Jake as he climbed aboard his plane.
“Let me guess the name of the movie, sir!” responded Hesterly with a smile.
“Go ahead and guess it. We’ve got that movie aboard since Nova and Homer made sure that ancient old classics were downloaded to the ship’s entertainment files from the underground city museum movie vault,” said Jake as he pulled the shoulder straps over his shoulders and adjusted his seat.
“TOP GUN!!” replied Hesterly!
“You’re mentioning the scene where that Cruise guy flips off a Russian pilot for fun. “
“Our top pilots, especially Wildstar and Conroy have not even attempted such a maneuver. I’m determined to repeat that scene for myself. Those Gamilons deserve it after what they’ve done to Earth,” said Jake has he placed his helmet over his head.
“Bridge, this is Jake,”
“Yes, Jake,” responded Wildstar.
“I’m ready to go if needed for Alert five. Communication checks, please,” Jake responded into his headset as the canopy closed.
“We read you loud and clear. You’ll be taken up to the catapult immediately after the launch of the balloon ship,” said Wildstar as he sat at the combat station on the first bridge.
Sandor monitored the telemetry from his station, while IQ-9 sat ready at the controls of the balloon ship. Jake’s Cosmo Yiger 107 taxied to the elevator to be lifted to the aft catapult for the alert five take off.
Venture was settled into his station on the 1st bridge. He performed one last final check of the balloon ship’s flight controls before proceeding with a takeoff. The overhead video screen came on as it showed the Argo’s fantail and the blue sky above. Venture looked on his monitor and pushed a few buttons which related commands to the balloon ship.
“Ok, guys…we’re ready to go. Give the order, Wildstar,” said Venture with a grin.
“Ok, take off and have a bit of fun,” Wildstar said with a sense of dry humor.
The balloon ship’s jets were activated and the miniature Argo flew off the fantail of the space battleship. Within a few minutes time, it reached an altitude of eight hundred feet and kept climbing.
“We’re airborne,” said Venture.
“IQ-9, set a course for due south bearing course two-sixty-five degrees and cap off the altitude at five thousand feet,” said Wildstar as he watched the monitor.
“Yes, sir…set course bearing two-sixty-five degrees due south we’re now at twenty five hundred feet climbing for five thousand,” replied IQ.
“Nova, activate the radar and let’s see if there’s anything out that way,” said Wildstar.
“Right…. I got contact with the balloon ship at RPG-two-sixty-five point zero five,” replied Nova as she monitored the radar screen.
“Ok, let’s see if we find anything out there. In the meantime, let’s prepare to throw up some more eyes in the sky,” said Wildstar as he reached for the intercom microphone.
“Attention…Jake and Conroy, be prepared to take off on a moment’s notice. Sakamoto and Hardy report to the flight deck immediately for alert ten status.”
Sandor walked over towards Wildstar and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Good call, Wildstar. I think that will give us an advantage in terms of being prepared for some surprises,” said Sandor.
“I agree. Somehow if that crater is hiding an abandoned or active Gamilon base it’s better for us to find out now than later,” said Venture as he monitored IQ-9 at the console.
“Wildstar, Jake is now on the catapult and ready for launch,” said Homer.
Wildstar nodded at Homer and watched the overhead monitor as the balloon ship was now more than thirty miles away.
“I wonder if we’ll find anything hidden in that southern crater we saw,” Wildstar wondered to himself.
“Wildstar, Drone One ready for departure,” said Conroy from the 3rd bridge.
“Roger that, Conroy, launch at will,” replied Wildstar as he sat at Captain Avatar’s station on the third bridge.
Conroy positioned the drone for launch from fighter launch tube number one on the Argo’s port side. He went over his flight systems checklist to make sure the drone was in top shape for a flight of unknowns. The Black Tiger leader increased the throttle of the drone and the miniature recon plane took off and increased in altitude quickly.
“Conroy’s off, sir…He’s heading on a southeastern path to a longer route to that crater that we flew over as we landed here, “ said Eager as he monitored the radar screen at his station.
Avatar Can Do This!
Place: Earth Defense Command, Great Island
On Earth, the hellish cooking of the Earth’s surface continued as radiation seeped further underground. Surface temperatures reaching one hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit have become the normal across the barren landscape. Only a few people have ventured out of the underground cities to see for themselves the hell that Gamilon had wrought upon the once blue planet. General Singleton and his staff deal with a host of issues ranging from keeping the survivors clothed and sheltered to deterring criminal acts that still can take place underground. On this day, the General receives reports from his staff on the condition of the planet and receives updates from Jerusalem. Three ship building ports remain in the world: Norfolk, Virginia in the North American Union, Haifa Bay Yard, Israel and Kure Naval Yard, Japan. Norfolk and Haifa Bay are the only two shipyards that can support an extremely limited rebuilding of the Earth Defense Forces fleet. Many blueprints and plans have been submitted to the EDF Command Staff. General Singleton looks over every plan knowing that it is now possible to travel faster than light speed and defy the laws of 20th century modern day physics.
A knock is heard on the General’s office door.
“Come in.” answered the Supreme Commander.
The two men exchanges salutes as the three starred Admiral seats himself in a green upholstered chair in front of the General’s mahogany desk.
“Admiral Smith, it’s a pleasure to see you,” said Singleton as he extended his hand to the Admiral.
Admiral Smith, who is a three-star vice Admiral in the Earth Defense Forces tasked with overseeing the Space Fighter’s Training School and vice-chairman of the EDF’s General Design Board. The Admiral bears a striking resemblance to his ancestor who commanded American and European troops in what was known as the Bosnian War of the 1990s and ace fighter pilot during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
“Commander, it’s good to see you as well. I trust that you find those plans for new ships to be rather interesting. The Argo is one of the greatest ships of our time.”
“That goes without saying, Admiral. We would’ve not have survived this long if it wasn’t for that great ship. Although we are most grateful to Queen Starsha of Iscandar for the plans that she sent for the Wave Motion Engine, We were able to generate new plans based on what she sent us,” Singleton said.
“I am most definitely grateful for everything she’s done for this planet. However, I have people that have volunteered to be put to task at the surviving shipyards to begin rebuilding our vast fleet. The problem is that we are extremely limited on resources and needed raw materials to begin laying keels. Which of the plans do you think would be most urgent to begin, sir?”
“Admiral, to me this is rather good news that you have people ready to volunteer in the recovery and rebuilding of our fleets. I haven’t made any final decisions on what to present to the General Design Board for formal approval. I have relieved General Stone of his chairmanship due to his belief that the rebuilding of the fleet won’t be necessary after the Star Force’s return.”
“Commander, I don’t know how in the hell you wound up with that piece of trash. General Stone hasn’t had the best interest at heart for the people of Earth. Somehow, I think Stone is out to make a name for his self and his political maneuvering to gain favor with President Mendellsohn does not sit well with a lot of people. It is a good thing that you have been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for over ten years,” said the Admiral as he pulled a blueprint from his brown brief case embroidered with the EDF logo.
“Admiral, I like this plan. A battleship with a double Wave Motion Gun in the bow and lots of firepower!” exclaimed Singleton.
“That’s not all, sir!” replied Admiral Smith as he pulled out another plan that looked like a cross between a battleship and a carrier.
“Alright now…I know your great namesakes were a Carrier Commander and a Battleship Commander. I’ve heard everything about the great American Admiral and his mentor in War College back in the States. I still admire that Four-Star Admiral. He’s a hell of a commander and they surely didn’t give him enough credit for his accomplishments during the Bosnian Conflict. Adm. Smith should’ve been appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff long before Adm. Mullen’s name came up. However, I’m appointing you to the General Design Board effective immediately. Once the board comes to a approving the design for a Combined Fleet Capitol Ship and battle carriers, bring those approvals to me and I’ll sign the order right away after notifying the President,” Singleton said as the men arose from his chair.
“Commander, I thank you for your appointment to the Design Board. I will report back to you as soon as we have those votes of approvals. I surely hope that the Star Force will hurry up and get back soon, “said Admiral Smith as he and Gen. Singleton walked out of his office.
“Smith…I have never doubted Admiral Abraham Avatar…not even for once. There are those who think he should have retired long ago. Avatar doesn’t give up without a fight. He might retreat to fight another day but he does not give up, “said Singleton as a couple of Academy plebes saluted the men as they walked by.
“General Singleton, the most important lesson I’ve ever learned from my ancestors is this…I can do this! Admiral Avatar can defeat the Gamilons and return back with the Cosmo DNA. I’m sure of it,” said Admiral Smith as they parted ways at the end of the administrative hallway.
TO BE CONTINUED….